aelfie: (Default)
needs to camp out in our house.

First, it was the lizard...then a frog. Today? A baby snake in the garage.

What is up with the wildlife???

We came in through the garage after running an errand and I spotted this baby snake on the floor along the walkway. I got all the kids in, all the stuff in, grabbed my longest set of tongs and found a bucket. Now, I like snakes. I know how to pick them up. I plan on having another as a pet someday. But I didn't know if this was a constrictor or not and I was sure how it would behave. Better to be safe than sorry right? So I scooped up that little black snake with the tongs, tossed him in the bucket. Then announced "Hey! Guys! Come look at this snake I caught in the garage!" We "oooo'd" and we "ahhh'd". Ike got the camera and we took a picture. We then set him free in the rosebushes. Over the protestations of the children. They wanted to keep it. The fact that we don't have a tank I think is the only reason why I won that particular argument.

Then we went to the reference books to see what kind of snake it was. We were able to ID it as a California Racer Snake. It took an online search to determine if it was poisonous or not. Not. However it was noted that when threatened or handled they strike often and viciously. Glad I got the tongs.

Bonus? Ike spent the next 45 minutes pouring over the various field reference guides looking at pictures and asking me to read him information. Cool! Gotta love those informal lessons. Now that's a picture perfect homeschooling minute.

Fire day

Jun. 13th, 2008 11:38 pm
aelfie: (Hopscotch)
I was outside playing with the kids today for most of the afternoon. Between 4 & 5 I noticed that it was getting hazy, and the sunlight was turning felt more like fall sunlight, than height of summer sunlight. By 7 it looked like this

This is from our backyard looking southeast.

This is also from our backyard looking north. We closed up the house and cranked on the A/C right after (before?) I took these...with that much crap in the air, I didn't want to trigger an asthma attack. [personal profile] allanh and his lovely husband Randy came over for dinner and told us the fire was somewhere close to the 9 in the Santa Cruz Mountains.  At least we don't have to worry about the fire reaching us...but the sky looks AWFUL.
aelfie: (MnM Ike)
So Ike is in the Federal Preschool program 2 days a week. That's it, that's all. He receives speech therapy and occupational therapy while at school. He's also been diagnosed recently with some Sensory Processing Problems (hyper-sensitive hearing, hypo-sensitive touch, and under-responsive to movement (i.e. he needs to move. A lot.)) Which is a good thing, the bad thing is that his problems are bad enough to be annoying, but not enough to receive services above and beyond the times when the OT works with the entire class.

So, a couple of months ago at the IEP meeting, Ike's teacher told me to enroll him in another preschool another 2-3 days a week. He will be mainstreamed into a normal classroom next year for kindergarten, and she said he needed some more practice learning to behave in a normal classroom setting. She recommended the Parks and Rec program or the Y. Since I'm a member of the Y, I went there.

Before I enrolled him in school, I talked to the director. I told her about his speech delays, his resulting behavior problems that we are having (i.e. agression, inability to follow know. Normal 4 year old behavior), his sensory processing problems, how we are working on mainstreaming him to a normal classroom, and that the FPP teacher said Ike needed practice learning to behave in a classroom. I asked. Is this a good fit for him. Will you be willing to work with him. He's going to be work for you. Her response? "Oh yes, we are willing to work with him."

Its turning out that their definition of working with him are completely different than mine. Their idea of working with him is suspending him for multiple days from the program. Can anyone explain to me how suspending a 4 year old is going to help him improve his behavior? Yes, he's aggressive, I warned them that that was going to be their main problem. I took him back to school today (after a nearly 2 week absence) and the director of the school said "He can't stay until you've had a meeting with my boss back at the Y". Great.  I load him back into the car and drive to the Y.

I find the Grand-Supervisor and asked if it was a good time. She said not really, because she wanted to meet with me and the Director, but she'd talk with just me now. She basically said the same thing over and over. He's aggressive, its unprovoked, he's picking on one little boy and that suspension is a safety issue. I pointed out that one of the teachers is telling me privately that the other teacher and the director are over-reacting, that he's behaving normally for a kid that age, and that its not really a big deal. "He was just trying to be nice" She couldn't answer how suspension is supposed to make an impression on a 4 year old. She told me I should have punished him on the days he was supposed to be at school. He's 4. Like he remembers an incident that happened 10 days ago. Please.

Safety issue was her basic response, so I asked, what are you willing to do to keep working with him? Further suspensions if new strategies don't work. So instead of dealing with him (like they said they would) they are going to shunt him aside so they don't have to deal with him. Grrrrr.

Needless to say, I'm not happy. I pointed out that if they weren't willing to work with a kid like Ike, they should have told me before I enrolled him. Suspension is not working with the problem, its not practice-learning how to behave in a classroom, which is why I brought him to their school in the first place.

So I am going to pull him out of the Y program tomorrow and demand my money back for the month, considering I paid for the whole month, I only got 3 days of school. They can pro-rate it.

So now I'm on the hunt for a new preschool. I've looked at 2 already and wasn't too happy. One was too lax, and other was too regimented. But there are other schools in the area, so I'll keep looking. I'm not sure what the right fit will be. Everyone keeps asking me "Aren't there any preschools who deal with kids like Ike?" Yea, its called the school district and Ike is already attending, and no, I can't send him more days because its not even an option.  (Your tax dollars at work!)

Most of the preschools around here are all about the academics. What they can teach the kids that will help them succeed academically at school! Frankly, I don't care about that. Ike is smart enough, he'll pick up any academic subject fairly easy. Ike needs a school where they will let him focus on social and emotional achievment. I want to see "Plays well with others" I don't care about "Can count to 100" that will come quick enough. *sigh* What in the hell happened in letting kids be kids while they are kids? When I went to Kindergarten, it was all about well, this. What happened? I don't like it. But that's another rant for another day.

I also think I need to track down an OT in the area and get him some therapy. Yes, its annoying enough to interfere with our day and his ability to play well with others. To me that means he needs services, but the district guidelines say otherwise. There's one in Gilroy, but that's a drive and a half with the girls in tow. I need to find someone more local.

And yes, I still plan on enrolling the girls in a different Y preschool (there's one at the elementary school where they will be going) than the one Ike is at now, next fall. They are a bit more mellow and aren't nearly as aggressive. They should fit in just fine.
aelfie: (MnM Elli)

I ran into a friend at the gym this morning and made arrangements for us to meet at the park after she got her son from pre-school. I was looking forward to visiting with her, playing with her baby and generally liking the idea that the kids would wear themselves out playing.

And the universe said? NO WAY!!! Hahahahahahaha!

About 30 minutes after feeding everyone, I'm watching Gwen on the monkey bars from a short distance, munching on the last of my lunch, when I hear screaming and another mom bring Elli to me. She's got blood all over her face and down her shirt.

Oh shit, not again. Yep, she did, she fell down and put teeth through her lip. Third time this year she's done this to herself. Since I didn't see the fall, I'm not sure how it happened, but I could see it was a clean, but long gash across her chin.

I loaded everyone in the van, called another friend to come pick up the other two and headed off to Kaiser's "Minor Injury Clinic" formerly known as "Urgent Care". Now normally when I go to this area, its a 3 hour trip. Which is why I called my friend C to come get Ike and Gwen. We were in and out in just over an hour. In fact, as Elli and I were walking out of the building, I saw her pull out of the parking garage.

But, back to Elli. They cleaned up the wound, got out some sand, and glued it together. And she sat still for the whole process, no need to Papoose her like last time. I think she's getting used to it. =/

She's fine now, I gave her some Ibuprofen, she ate a snack, and is happily watching Dora. Nobody has had a nap today and we have guests coming over for dinner. Going to be an interesting night. At least dinner is on the stove and ready. Soup! Yum!
aelfie: (Default)
After spending most of the early morning hours worshiping the porcelain goddess due to a lovely case of food poisoning. I'm finally feeling better. The babysitter got here around 1, I promptly went back to bed, took a two hour nap, woke up, and I just finished a shower. I'm wearing my comfy sweatshirt, my flannel pajama bottoms, squishy socks, and my crocs.  I've been able to keep a large sprite down and I'm only running to the bathroom once an hour. (If that was TMI, deal=))

I feel much better. I'm kinda wishing food sounded like a good idea. But the thought makes me want to hurl.

Joe is staying at work late, my mom is coming down after 6 (so as to avoid traffic) so at the very least I'm not dealing with my children for very long on my own today. Life is good.
aelfie: (Default)
First response in the mail today. I got a form letter from the BBB stating that the restaurant has until July 27 to respond.

It will be interesting to see what happens with the next few weeks.
aelfie: (Default)
Well, I sent off 9 copies of the Poison Pen Letter to various people at several companies. It should be interesting to see what happens in the next few weeks.
aelfie: (Default)
So, after finally feeling better on all my supplements, I've finally gotten enough energy to make some changes in my life to reduce my stress.

Namely, hire a part-time nanny. I hate the concept of it. But I am recognizing the fact that I need help taking care of these kids. So I did the research. Most nanny corps cost waaaay too much. So I found a website that connects college kids with families that need baby sitters ( I posted a job, saying that I needed someone long term, 2-3 days a week, minimum of 6 hours a week, at a price I can (mostly) afford. Well, I hired someone.

M is a freshman at SJSU and has the energy to chase these kids. Yea! She started this week. And boy am I really enjoying it. So I admit, I'm not resting or sleeping while she's here. I'm cleaning the house. Why? I have a really hard time relaxing in a filthy house (and trust me, this house is really disgusting. And not just cluttered. Dirty. Bleh.) I got my bathroom and bedroom cleaned, I got 8 loads of laundry done, I got my kitchen cleaned, floors swept (which she did while the girls slept and Ike had a pout in his room) and I cooked dinner without hassle. I am really going to enjoy this.

I'm hoping next week that the weather is nicer so she can take everyone to the park. But we will see. I don't think it will take me too long to whip the house into shape, then I can start napping. Woo hoo!

My tasks for next week? Clean up the spare room, and the office. And more laundry, of course. We are having Christmas dinner over here and I want the house to look nice.


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